A/N - In this Rochester isn't blind. It's because, I always kind of thought it didn't fit. I mean, I know he could very easily get injuries from a fire but it's because it was done because it was supposed to make them 'equals'. I know they couldn't really get married if they weren't equals and some of the easiness from the first marriage comes from the fact that Jane is entirely reliant on Rochester and his subordinate. Now, though, Jane has her own inheritance and she is no longer Rochester's governess, so she should be his equal. But then we're shown Rochester as a broken man, he's blinded, he's ashamed of his scars, heartbroken by Jane leaving and lives the life of a complete recluse. And so then Jane returns, thereby beginning to 'heal' him. In my mind this always leaves the suggestion that Jane is not just his wife, but his nursemaid, something that neither of them would want (I'm not saying that Jane wouldn't still love him). There's also the fact that Rochester was such a strong character before, to weaken him to such an extent seems wrong (I'm not just talking about the blindness but the fact that he's clearly a broken man)
Also, it was always my kind of head canon that when Jane returned Rochester sort of bounded in like an over excited puppy and gave all the servants heart attacks because they've become so used to him being such a moody SOB.
I remember the day when Miss Eyre, Mrs Rochester as she is now, returned.
Ever since the failed marriage and Miss Eyre's departure his mood had darkened worse than ever before. He had always had his demons, and now we knew some of what they were, but now he had turned to anger. Anger at himself mostly, but anger also at his fate. There was one night when he had had a bit too much to drink and he turned to me. I don't know whether he saw me as myself or Miss Eyre standing there, he saw visions of her, you see, he called those waking dreams a comfort and a torment. But he turned to me and asked if it was so wrong to love an angel. When he had been cursed with a demon in his keep, how could he see this angel as anything other than redemption? I admit I hadn't known what to say to that and I think I understood just a little of his twisted logic.
We all expected him to leave for the continent and flee his troubles as he had so many times before. And he did, he went for about a month, but returned so early. He was doomed to remain at Thornfield now, he said, there remained the terrible allure, haunted as it was by the sweetest ghost.
Then there was the fire that did for a great part of Thornfield. I had to take the liberty of calling in workers myself, for the damage didn't seem to cross his mind. I knew what occupied his mind as he paced and shouted and rode. Once I heard him saying, perhaps to the air, or the ghost he forever saw, 'She promised she would love me for the rest of her life. Even as she left, she promised'. Love, I knew, was one thing, but there was also betrayal, forgiveness and trust. How dreadful must it be, to love one you cannot trust?
He wanted her back, knew now that he could legally have her, but he dreaded her answer. Dreaded her judgement.
Then there was the unmentionable, the unthinkable. What if the ghost of Thornfield was truly a ghost? Miss Eyre was a slip of a girl when she had run out onto the moors. How would she survive?
He took to riding long distances and we knew he wouldn't rest until he had learnt the fate of Miss Eyre.
I don't know how it happened when the master saw Miss Eyre approaching as he sat beneath the broken tree that he had demanded never be moved, and think that's for the best. That moment is purely for them. It has a certain kind of poetry to it. The tree where he first asked her to marry him was the site of their reunion.
I do remember him bounding in like an over excited puppy. It nearly shocked us all out of our senses. Out of all the insensible babble there were two words that explained it all, She's Back. And she looked as giddy as he.
He called for food and drink, fussing over her in a slightly desperate way.
He wouldn't stop touching her as if she might disappear at any moment. He wouldn't stop kissing her either. It bordered on indecent at times. I swear he would have dragged her off to his room like a caveman if he hadn't been so determined to do things right this time. And if Miss Eyre would have let him.
And then she revealed why she had come back at that precise moment that everything was in place. She had had a dream and heard a voice that she could not refuse. I think I believed it then. I had always had doubts about their relationship even when it was so clear that they were in love. It's said that these things happen when two souls meet and are bound by some heavenly connection. It's rare, but when it happens neither can let go.
I had a talk with Miss Eyre, about the wedding night, for I doubted from what she'd told me that she'd never had a mother or like to give such an important talk before. I was right but I think I half terrified the girl.
I saw her later that day sitting with Mr Rochester, him whispering to her and trailing a finger down her bodice. I didn't have any doubt at what they were talking about but I swear I've never seen him look gentler. He was comforting her about that thing which she had no experience.
Perhaps, in that moment, it was a good thing he had so much experience.
I slipped out as he kissed her neck, knowing that my message, whatever it had been, would only be met with rebuke. Those first nights are often difficult, my told me, it was when a man and wife were getting to truly know each other, and that was what I had found with my husband, God rest his soul, but I didn't think it would be so with those two. Perhaps then my talk had been unnecessary, but it couldn't regret trying to help Jane.
I had thought that the master would scoff at our tears at the wedding, but he was more than a little emotional himself, and then when the priest announced them man and wife and they kissed I think everyone drew a breath. Their kisses before had always touched on the line of what a newly betrothed couple should do, but this was different. It was like everything was complete. The only time I remember seeing anything like it was when I first caught them kissing. They had just rushed in from the rain and they were both so happy. Then Jane looked at me and at that point she wasn't thinking of what I must have thought. I didn't register it at the time because I was so shocked, but she looked like, at that perfect point in time everything in the world had aligned.
At that point in the church I don't think either of them wanted to let go of each other. The priest, in his wisdom, was content to let them be in that moment.
Of course, when the new Rochesters returned to Thornfield, the wedding night became the wedding afternoon. They were a passionate pair so it wasn't entirely unsurprising, but it did create a somewhat odd feeling in the house. I was sure we would get used to it, in time. Many of them weren't used to such passionate masters and mistresses.
Then Mr Rochester took Mrs Rochester away to 'all the places she had dreamed of as a child'. Personally, I could never see the lure of traveling to foreign parts, but it seemed to be something that they both enjoyed so that was that.
I remember when I later asked Mrs Rochester her opinion on, something, I forget now, and she looked at me, all but terrified and said, "I really don't know about how to be someone's mistress, Mrs Fairfax. Will you teach me?" I couldn't but let my fondness for Jane shine through when I took her hand and replied,